Thomas Tuchel has admitted that Romelu Lukaku is being overplayed while taking a swipe at the regular international breaks.
Speaking to media, Thomas Tuchel has offered his thoughts about Chelsea’s star striker Romelu Lukaku. The former Borussia Dortmund coach admitted that the Belgian is being overplayed, amid his duties with club and national team Belgium.
Tuchel’s comments come just a day before their upcoming UEFA Champions League encounter against Malmo on Wednesday. The Belgian forward is expected to be involved in the action, effectively making it his 11th competitive appearance in club football this season.
The former Inter Milan star was involved in Chelsea’s narrow win over Brentford. He was coming into that game on the back of a gruelling international break with Belgium, with his team losing to France in the semi-finals in the UEFA Nations League.
“We are in the process of adapting to each other and in my opinion, I feel Romelu is being overplayed,” Tuchel said in his pre-match press conference, as cited by Chelsea’s official website, before adding, “I think he played too many competitions over the summer, with his national team and now the Nations League.”
The Chelsea tactician did go on to stress how important the Nations League defeat was to him while hailing the player for his incredible work ethic.
“He is a fantastic athlete and such a competitive guy that he wants to win these things. I know how much he wanted to have a good outcome for a European Championship with Belgium and now again in the Nations League, which was a huge match for him personally as it means a lot to him to play for his country, so he takes it really seriously.”
“If that doesn’t work well, he always takes it on his shoulders, thinks about it and reflects and I feel he is mentally tired. Not hugely so that we have a concern, but for me he is not fully enjoying it without having second thoughts.”
Tuchel finally made his swipe at international breaks, stating, “It is difficult to judge. Does he really need a break, or is it better to keep him on the pitch? The next national break is coming but this is what I feel particularly for him, and some other players too.”
We have already had two international breaks in the new season so far, with the next one scheduled to take place in less than three weeks’ time. It has raised questions about the players’ fitness and Tuchel might not be the last manager to complain about it either.